Dirk Kuyt will officially end his professional playing career on Sunday 27 May 2018. Twelve months after the 37-year-old ne...
Heerenveen grabbed their first ever win at De Kuip Sunday with a smash-and-grab victory in the Eredivisie. When Dirk Kuyt levelled an early Mika Väyrynen strike on 36 minutes, it looked like the Rotterdammers would move up a gear and claim all the points, but the Finn claimed his second before the break and Petter Hansson wrapped up the win in second half. It was a bittersweet debut for home keeper Malek Malkowski and a less than great afternoon for Danko Lazovic, who was sent off for using his elbow.
The Pole will not have happy memories of his debut as Mika Värynen converted two first-half opportunities to leave the home side with a half-time headache. The Finn got his first on 14, placing his drive out of reach of the debutant from beyond the penalty area. The second came five before the break, when the Finn beat his Polish counterpart in a one-on-one. It was a harsh forty-five for the Feyenoord keeper, who's been at the club five seasons without getting a game and wouldn't have expected to break his duck just a few games shy of the end of his last campaign at De Kuip.
It wasn't the keeper who was at blame however but the side as a whole. Feyenoord looked unconvincing and quickly handed the initiative to their opponents. After the opener Ruud Gullit brought on Pardo for Bosschaart to try to get more grip on proceedings, but there was little effect, as Heerenveen sat back on their lead.
That would be the undoing of the Frisians however, as Feyenoord pulled alongside on 36. It would have been the hosts' first chance, had it been a chance. Dirk Kuyt fought his way clear of Hansson on the right and sent in a hard drive across goal that caught out Vandenbussche and put Feyenoord level.
The goal appeared to give Feyenoord some energy and Kalou was dangerous on two occasions, while Goor was denied by Vandenbussche. It looked like the home side were about to take the game by the scruff of the neck, which made Väyrynen's second goal five minutes before half time even more of a difficult pill to swallow.
Despite trailing, Feyenoord held the initiative at the start of the second half again, although it took some time for the home side to create a meaningful chance. Nine minutes in Kuyt beat Vandenbussche with a lob, only to see his effort fail to dip under the bar. A minute or so later the striker had another effort, but Vandenbussche turned this one around the post. From the resulting corner the ball fell to De Graaf, but his drive ended wide of the post.
Feyenoord's failure to level matters was almost punished by the Northerners on the hour. Samaras broke clear on the right, storming past Saidi. Malkowski saved the visiting striker's initial effort, but when the ball fell at the feet of Huntelaar it looked like curtains for the Rotterdammers. Then fate intervened and the Heereveen man pulled his shot inches wide.
Such counters were an inevitable consequence of Feyenoord's need to commit men forward, a need that was underlined by Ruud Gullit bringing on Lazovic for De Graaf.
But it was the visitors that got the game's decisive fourth goal on 77, when Petter Hansson nodded home from a corner to secure the three points for his side. The home side's frustration boiled over four minutes later when Lazovic failed to control his emotions, elbowing Ugur Yildirim and earning a red for his troubles. It effectively ended Feyenoord's faint hopes of turning things round last gasp.
Feyenoord 1-3 Heerenveen
14' 0-1 Väyrynen
36' 1-1 Kuyt
40' 1-2 Väyrynen
77' 1-3 Hansson
Yellow: Bakkati, Hansson
Red: Lazovic (81' elbow)
Feyenoord: Malkowski; Östlund, Saidi (71' Zuiverloon), Bahia, Basto; Castelen, De Graaf (63' Lazovic), Goor, Bosschaart (33' Pardo); Kuyt, Kalou.
Heerenveen: Vandenbussche; Bakkati (65' Drost), Hansson, Breuer, Seip; Radomski, Hestad (46' Bruggink), Väyrynen, Nilsson (53' Samaras), Huntelaar, Yildirim.